This lesson allows students to perform polynomial differentiation and solve tangent line problems using climate data such as atmospheric CO2 concentrations data since 1950.

Grade Level: High School, undergraduate
Discipline: Mathematics
Topics: Introductory calculus, differentiation, derivatives of polynomials, tangent line problem
Climate Topic: Climate and the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect
Location: Global
Languages: English

Learning Outcomes

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  • Calculate the derivatives of polynomials
  • Interpret and compare the slope of a curve at different points
  • Compare and analyze the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 levels by applying polynomial differentiation
  • Predict future atmospheric CO2 levels based on current levels, and discuss the corresponding effect on climate.